The spread betting companies all offer something different. We are not authorised to provide financial advice, arrangements or investments and for that reason we cannot say which is the best spread betting company.
Below we compare the spreads for markets such as the FTSE 100, GBP/USD, Gold and Oil.
We also compare services such as new account offers, 24 hour trading and automatic stop loss orders.
Each of the firms listed below is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
This list is not meant to be inclusive, spread betting services are also available with companies not listed here.
Important: We often have commercial relationships with the brokers / providers listed on this site.
If you don't think we have given a fair company review, or if you just want to add your own opinion, please add a comment and/or rating.
[9:43pm] Editor's comment: This is somewhat old news but, for the sake of our SelfTrade Markets review… SelfTrade Markets is no longer running.
There's no alarming news like Alpari, FXCM or World Spreads.
This just looks like rationalisation by SelfTrade and London Capital Group, i.e. the two parties that put SelfTrade Markets together.
[8:18pm] Editor's comment: Well this deal didn't last long.
The BetVictor Financials site launched in 2013 but it has now closed.
You always felt BetVictor's heart wasn't in it. That's a shame because, for a while, Paddypowertrader (PaddyPower) and InterTrader (Bwin) both did well with whitelabels.
In fact, it looks like InterTrader / InterTrader Direct is still doing well.
[7:33pm] Editor's comment: And CMC have added binaries to their platform.
They've also added a volume-less video guide on youtube about their binary markets… the video doesn't help much. Although it does show ‘how' the list of markets is shown.
They've chosen to use fat finger buttons (big buttons) on their mobile app.
I do l like fat finger buttons on many apps but they don't work well for lists of markets (they can work well for adjusting trades, my account sections etc.).
Anyway, if anyone has any feedback on the new binaries (or how well CMC markets price their binaries), please do add a comment.
For a quick guide to binary trading, see http://www.cleanfinancial.com/binary_betting.php
[7:31pm] Editor's comment: Sorry, this is a bit of an old story they we're adding to our GFT review page… just in case there are any people still looking for a GFT account.
The GFT Markets brand has merged into the City Index brand.
A merger like this is always tricky though.
You are asking clients who are used to one platform to move to another, none of us like being given a new platform to learn, iTunes please take note!... anyway, while the City Index platform is fairly straightforward it is still quite different to the GFT platform.
More important for many clients will be the fact that GFT always had tighter spreads than City Index, particular on with their FX markets… I can't imagine old GFT customers were happy about getting worse spreads.
The City Index spreads aren't a disaster these days, it's just that GFT were much tighter e.g. EUR/USD was 0.6pt and GBP/USD was 0.8pt with GFT. That doesn't compare well with 1pt and 1.5pts respectively on the City platform.
Finspreads review page: http://www.cleanfinancial.com/finspreads.php
City Index review page: http://www.cleanfinancial.com/cityindex.php
[6:32pm] Editor's comment: It feels like we should comment on the CMC Markets share price / IPO.
On balance, my personal view is that it's not disaster if you bought the shares or if you missed out.
- IPO'd 5 Feb 2016, original share price 240p
- There was a quick dip in share price to 219p on 9 Feb 2016
- Ticker CMCX
- Today is 10 March 2016 and shares are trading slightly higher than the IPO price at 242p
- Current market cap: £675m. Note that the company was talking about IPO'ing with a market cap closer to £730m (the magic $1bn)
- Latest share price and chart on the London Stock Exchange: http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/price...
The company could be a cash cow for some stakeholders but I wouldn't buy, or short, the stock just yet.
The founder, Peter Cruddas still holds a 62.5% stake in the firm and Goldman Sachs retains another 5%.
In short, if there's no change in leadership or management then I expect it to continue to do well.
At the same time though, I don't expect any game-changing decisions to lead to a healthy step change.
Year Ending: Operating P&L
Industry-wise, the markets are volatile and that's good for spread betting & CFD firms.
At the same time, the regulator (FCA) has put the industry under close scrutiny e.g. the 2 Feb 2016 FCA Open Letter (aka warning): https://www.fca.org.uk/static/documents/dear-ceo-...
Shorter-term, it's reasonable to expect a dip in share price when employees holding stock and/or options can sell out. (anyone know when that is?)
In short, there are a few key arguments for/against, so perhaps we should just say well done Peter Cruddas. It's good to see entrepreneurs doing well.
(We shall do our best to ignore/forgive Mr Cruddas' stint as the Conservative party co-treasurer.
The Court of Appeal concluded the businessman had corruptly offered access to David Cameron and other senior MPs in exchange for donations: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/pet...
Stick to running a spread betting/CFD/forex firm Peter!
We hope that Cruddas & co can prove us wrong and that they use the reported £15m (raised from the IPO for capital for the business) to generate a positive step change in growth.
[12:55pm] Capital Spreads Changing Platform and Brand
Editor's comment: OK, Capital Spreads is morphing it's brand into 'LCG', I guess that makes sense to them. I doesn't bother me.
However, they are also changing platform and that is a concern. Why fix something that isn't broken?
There is a reason why the Capital Spreads platform has won a lot of awards for “most user-friendly platform” and, for once, it's not just because a company has bought a lot of advertising the relevant company/awards ceremony.
For me, the Capital Spreads platform was THE user-friendly spread betting platform. Quite a few other platforms were modelled on it (or whitelabels of it).
I do hope they know what they are doing with the new platform, I haven't traded on it yet but it does look like a step backwards.
[12:55pm] Editor's comment: And Financial Spreads is back
The new Financial Spreads website is running.
Hopefully that's good news for traders who want a straightforward trading experience (they say they have “updated their platform but kept the user-friendly side of it”).
I say “hopefully”. Like Dr. House, I believe there's a difference in what people say (and what their Marketing Dept says) and what they do.
We will test/trade on the new platform, and mobile apps, and report back.
And if you're looking for more news on where Financial Spreads have been, there's an update here: http://www.financemagnates.com/forex/brokers/excl...
[3:33pm] Editor's note, a very minor point, why are Euro Bunds in their list of popular markets? Surely that's a mistake?... retail traders normally couldn't give two hoots for treasury markets.
Come on ETX, show us some markets we like.
[3:32pm] Editor's note. Wow. ETX have changed their branding. What does this mean?
1) There's not a great deal of change for clients
2) A design agency has just made a cheeky few quid. I imagine the conversation went something like this "you should use a random olivey-brown colour for your brand [no one else does]...[and ignore that fact that it doesn't work that well in print or online, sorry]"
3) Here at Clean Financial we need to pull our finger out and update some screenshots & logos
What about the trading?
Well... I'm not seeing much difference there.
On the plus side they haven't messed up their web platform too much. It's still pretty simple and straightforward.
In fact... the main plus point I can find is that their homepage now shows a few markets so you can see indicative prices and charts for a few markets without logging in.
The downside? If you were used to the old platform, a few things have moved around.
[9:35am] Editor's comment: So as well as new mobile apps, Financial Spreads have switched to a new platform. I like the fact that you don't have to re-learn everything.
It looks similar to the old platform and much of the functionality is the same. To improve it they have finally got rid of the layout that seemed to randomly move around every time you logged on. It also works far better on smaller screen sizes.
And they have also removed annoying/poor quality news feed.
So a big improvement with regards to simplicity and usability. There aren't many platforms that are this easy to use.
And, they've tightened up the spreads, e.g. just 0.7pts on EUR/USD and 0.8pts on the FTSE 100 (UK 100).
So far so good. The downside? The charts...they are OK but they feel like a step backwards from the old charts. Slightly more fiddly and the back-testing function is no longer there.
Payments-wise, there's no Skrill but I'm told that will be in place soon.
Overall, a solid improvement and if they fix the chart issues then it could be a really good user-friendly platform.
[4:59pm] Editor's comment: Finally, they have mobile apps… how long did that take?
Also, how good are the new Financial Spreads Apple and Android apps? They look very similar to each other. And they are nice and simple which is what I want. The charts are a bit slow but then I find all the charts too slow on my old iPhone 4s.
The android app works well on my Samsung tablet. And I've had no issues getting a trade on / closing an old trade with either app.
Main criticism albeit it pretty minor, you can't create watchlists...when I'm on a train...that's one of the few times I get to mess around with the watchlists.
I am not sure if it was worth the extra-long wait but if you want a nice and simple app then it's worth taking a look at these.
[4:47pm] Editor's comment: A rare (and small) step backwards for IG.
They no longer send clients trade confirmations by txt message. I imagine this will irritate a few low volume investors but where will those investors go? I'm not sure if any of the other serious firms offer txt confirmations. If you know any that do, please let me know.
'Spread Betting Companies' edited by Jacob Wood, updated 22-Feb-17
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